The country’s police chief said on Wednesday that Haiti’s security forces had shot and killed four suspected murderers of President Giovinel Mois, and arrested two others because this shameless assassination might make this already impoverished and full. The Caribbean countries hit by the crisis are plunged into deeper chaos.
Police Chief Leon Charles described the four victims as “mercenaries” and said that the security forces had engaged in a fierce gun battle with those who assassinated the president at his home.
“When they left the crime scene, we stopped them on the way,” Charles said in a TV commentary. “Since then, we have been fighting them.”
“They will be killed or arrested.”
Moise is a 53-year-old former businessman who took office in 2017. At around 1 am local time, heavily armed assassins attacked the couple’s home on the hill above Port-au-Prince. He was shot and his wife Martin · Moise was seriously injured. Time Wednesday (05:00 GMT).
Haiti’s ambassador to the United States, Bocchit Edmond, stated that the gunmen were well-trained “foreign mercenaries” and stated that they disguised themselves as agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) when entering Moise’s guard home at nightfall.
According to the US Embassy, DEA has an office in the Haitian capital to assist the government in its anti-drug program.
The ambassador added that Moise’s wife Martin is in stable but critical condition and has been evacuated to Miami for treatment.
The assassination aroused condemnation from Washington and neighboring Latin American countries. It took place amid political turmoil, a surge in gang violence, and the growing humanitarian crisis in the poorest countries in the Americas.
Interim Prime Minister Joseph Crowder, who is the leader of the country, said that the assassins speak English and Spanish-most people in Haiti speak either French or Haitian Creole.
“I call for calm. Everything is under control,” Joseph and Charles said on TV together. “This barbaric act will not go unpunished.”
The Haitian government has declared a two-week state of emergency to help it find the assassin.
In an earlier interview with the Associated Press, Joseph called for an international investigation into the assassination and said that elections scheduled for later this year should be held. He also promised to cooperate with Moiz’s allies and opponents.
“We need everyone to move the country forward,” Joseph said. He described the president as “a brave man”, opposed “some oligarchs in the country” and said: “We believe these things are not without consequences.”
Haiti, a country with a population of approximately 11 million, has been striving to achieve stability since the collapse of the dictatorship of the Duvalier dynasty in 1986, and has fought a series of coups and foreign intervention. In the past year, Moyes has been governing by decree after failing to hold elections. In recent months, the opposition has asked him to step down, saying he is taking him into another period of severe authoritarianism.
Since taking over in 2017, Moise has faced calls for resignation and mass protests-first because of corruption allegations and his management of the economy, and then his increasing control of power.
Recently, he presided over the deteriorating gang violence incident, which rights activists said was related to the use of armed groups by political and business leaders for personal gain.
In the United States, President Joe Biden condemned the killing of Moise as “heinous” and called Haiti’s approximately 700 miles (1,125 kilometers) off the coast of Florida as worrisome. “We are always ready to help, and we will continue to work hard for a safe Haiti,” he said.
The Dominican Republic said it was closing the border and strengthening security in the area, but said the border was “completely calm.”
“This crime is an attack on Haiti and the democratic order in the region,” said Luis Abinad, President of the Dominican Republic.
A spokesperson said that the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also condemned the assassination and emphasized that “the perpetrators of this crime must be brought to justice.” At the same time, the UN Security Council expressed deep shock and sympathy for Moiz’s death to assess the situation before a closed-door meeting held on Thursday at the request of the United States and Mexico.
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) expressed concern on Wednesday that Haiti is one of the few countries in the world that has not yet been vaccinated against the coronavirus. The violence in Haiti may frustrate efforts to fight COVID-19.
In Port-au-Prince, the usually bustling streets were almost empty on Wednesday and the airport was closed, but gunfire rang in the air.
According to local reports, the caravan, including the ambulance that transported Moise’s body to the morgue, had to change course due to gunfire and roadblocks.
As Haiti’s politics is polarized and facing increasing hunger, people’s worries about the collapse of order are spreading—especially the murder of Moys taking place in a power vacuum.
Just this week, he nominated a prime minister to replace Joseph-he just intends to be the interim leader-but the official, Ariel Henry, has not yet been sworn in. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court may provide help to provide stability in a crisis, who recently died of COVID-19.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Joseph said that he had talked with Henry three times and everyone agreed that he is now responsible.
“He was actually appointed but never took office,” Joseph said of Henry. “I used to be a prime minister during my tenure. This is what the law and constitution say.”
However, in another Associated Press interview, Henry appeared to contradict Joseph. “This is a special situation. It’s a bit confusing,” he said. “I am the current prime minister.”
Late Wednesday, a special issue of the Official Gazette stated that under the Haitian Constitution, the prime minister and his cabinet-Joseph’s government-will exercise executive power until a new president can be elected.
Presidential elections, legislative elections, and local elections will be held in September, along with a controversial referendum on a new constitution, which Moise has said will help ultimately bring political stability to the country.
According to Alex Dupuy, a Haiti-born sociologist at Middletown Wesleyan University in Connecticut, the best scenario is that the acting prime minister and the opposition party jointly hold elections.
“But in Haiti, nothing is taken for granted. It depends on how the current balance of power in Haiti works,” he said, describing the situation as dangerous and turbulent.
The main opposition party said they were very frustrated with the killings.
Their statement said: “Under this painful situation, the political forces of the opposition condemn this heinous crime in the most severe form, which is contrary to democratic principles.”
The parties added that they hope that the national police will take all necessary measures to protect the safety of life and property, and called on Haitians to “keep a high degree of vigilance.”